With the model code of conduct for general elections 2019 lifted, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has now issued its order to promote women entrepreneurship in the country.
Addressing a gathering of women entrepreneurs at a women’s day event in Delhi, the DPIIT secretary Ramesh Abhishek discussed some of the ideas the organisation has to promote women entrepreneurs and their growth. He shared that they will encourage other government departments to also support allocating separate funds for women-led startups. The DPIIT is also mulling on ensuring one-third of women participation across the events it hosts.
After a hiatus due to general elections, in a tweet, Startup India has now listed down the guidelines planned for women entrepreneurs:
- At least one-third of the beneficiaries of all programs organised by DPIIT should be women
- DPIIT shall work with other government departments to reserve one-third of the benefits for women for all startups and entrepreneurs specific scheme
- Work with ministries and state governments to ensure that a minimum of one-third participants in their startup and entrepreneurship development programs are women
- For funding support to women-led Startups, DPIIT shall organise interactions with venture funds supported by SIDBI and lending institutions, including banks
- Startup India will design women-focused entrepreneurship development programs both online and offline
- Applications will be invited on Startup India portal and will be screened by experts
- To support advisory, women-led startups can view and connect with each other across interests of legal, tax, financial and other service providers
The advisory can be seen as a major step to support women entrepreneurship and gender parity in the Indian startup ecosystem. In the Global Women Entrepreneurs Leader Report, India is ranked 29 out of 31 countries surveyed on ease of doing business for women.
Understanding the crucial role for women, the steps support the next-generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. According to a global research study on entrepreneurial dynamics by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the number of women entrepreneurs in the world has increased by 10%, since 2014.
However, the total venture capital (VC) investments in women-led (at least one female founder) startups is mere 17% ($38.9 Bn) of the total VC investments of $188 Bn in the ecosystem globally, a rise in comparison to four years ago, but not a significant enough. As DPIIT and Startup India collate strengths to support women entrepreneurship, the benefits that may accrue going forward remain positive.